Terence Blacker: The value of a price tag on nature

The natural world cannot survive Osborne's cheerful free-market libertarianism

Katy Guest: Put your abacus away, Ms Spelman

Our writer recoils from the costing of nature's bounty

Steve Richards: Why cling to the least helpful targets?

As ministers insist they have no time for targets, you cannot move for them in relation to the economy

What price nature? Report puts financial value on UK's ecology

In a bid to reflect the true worth of nature, 700 scientists looked at the benefits of natural ecosystems

Coalition 'cowardly' over wild animals circus ban

The coalition was attacked from all sides in an emergency Commons debate yesterday over its failure to ban wild animals in circuses. In a bruising, 20-minute session, the Animal Welfare Minister Jim Paice admitted that he and Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary, had misled MPs three times last week by suggesting there was a live legal challenge to a ban in Austria.

Legal challenge used to block circus animals ban

The Government’s used a non-existent court challenge as an excuse for blocking a ban on wild animal in circuses, it was claimed today.

Ministers call emergency summit as drought looms

One of the driest springs on record has sparked fears for agriculture and wildlife, while crews 'work to the point of exhaustion' to battle forest fires

Village People: The Coalition: a year in apologies

When David Cameron and Nick Clegg stood on the lawn at 10 Downing Street to herald the creation of a coalition government, there was an implied promise of a new kind of politics. Things have not all worked out like that, but it has been a good year for humility in public life. Every few days, another politician has owned up and said sorry. Here are some of the highlights of a sorry year.

The Future of England's Forests: How we got lost in the woods

After plans to sell off England's forests were dramatically shelved, The Independent launched a prize for the best writing on their future. Here, Michael McCarthy introduces the winning article

£100 million cash boost for English waterways

More than £100 million is being provided to help improve England's rivers for wildlife such as otters and trout, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said today.

Michael McCarthy: The world cannot allow these species to die out

It's a vast region whose forests are being cut down at a rate faster than those of Amazonia

Exclusive: Cameron signals retreat on NHS reforms

Health Secretary's plans have been put on hold as PM has yet again signalled an embarrassing about-turn

Sale of 15 per cent of English forests to raise £100m

Sales of a 15 per cent portion of English public forests will go ahead within the next four years, raising an expected £100m, the Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, said yesterday.

Forests sale 'within four years'

Sales of 15% of England's public forests will go ahead within the next four years, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said today.

Government asked to investigate new pesticide link to bee decline

The Government is being asked to investigate a possible link between a new generation of pesticides and the decline of honey bees. It is suspected that the chemicals may be impairing the insects' ability to defend themselves against harmful parasites through grooming.

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The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
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Richard Norris in GQ
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Lionel Messi looks on at the end of the final
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Arts and Entertainment
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Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
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Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
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Your picture is everything in the shallow world of online dating
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Life and Style
Attractive women on the Internet: not a myth
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Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on